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ROCK Notes for January 28th, 2014

posted January 28, 2014, 12:36 pm by ROCKthusiast | Filed Under Rock(thusiast) Notes | comment Leave a Comment

ROCKnotesAn inspiring new group

York Region is brimming with music talent just waiting to be discovered. One band that I’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to recently is Motivated by Foolishness, a funky fresh take on modern hip-hop mixing playful lyrics and rhythmic instrumentation with gusto. On February 15th, with Valentine’s Day still on everyone’s minds, they’ll be Singing for Sex at Velvet Underground in Toronto’s sometimes seedy Queen Street West area. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as dirty as it sounds; MBF are actually one of the acts on a charity show in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. You can show your support for local talent by giving their demo album a listen and throwing it a few bucks at (“Ontario Flow” is fast becoming my new jam, BTW.) First there were Beliebers, then Directioners, and now…Motivators?

Musicians’ league of their own

Woodbridge’s Andrew Osawe has a vision of building a supportive, artistic community. His four-month old recording studio and rehearsal space on Woodstream Boulevard is the epicentre of an exciting concept entitled…the League of Musicians! LOM is different from other studios in that you don’t rent out their facilities, but rather pay a monthly membership fee like one would at a gym. “Trainers” are also available for private lessons, and perks like the ability to record jam sessions are all designed to encourage frequent visits by LOM members, which Mr. Osawe hopes will lead to new bands forming under his very roof. The LOM site intends to become a convergent hub where interested parties can browse relevant classified ads, member musicians’ profiles, and even gigs to play. Anyone curious to learn more should contact Andrew directly at

Karimloo’s the master of the house

Les Misérables is in the process of wrapping up an incredible run at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, featuring someone who has called York Region home in the revolutionary lead role. Ramin Karimloo is an Iranian-born, Richmond Hill-raised actor who is inarguably one of the UK’s shining stage stars because of his time spent in London’s West End with blockbuster musicals like The Phantom of the Opera. Your final opportunity to see the exceptional Mr. Karimloo as Jean Valjean in T.O. is on Sunday, February 2nd (see for any last-minute tickets). Wartime drama The Two Worlds of Charlie F. and perennial Broadway fave Chicago will try to follow in its footsteps afterwards. As for Mr. Karimloo, he is moving on to New York City, where he’ll be part of another revitalized Les Miz production beginning in March.

Watch: Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Live at the 2014 GRAMMYs)

A lot of Canadians apparently watched the GRAMMYs on Sunday; City is saying it was the most-watched program ever for the channel. I’m personally still fuming over how the broadcast’s closing collaborative performance with Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Dave Grohl on drums was cut short, but I’ll get over it. Rock disrespectfulness aside, one of the night’s biggest highlights definitely was Pharrell Williams and his ridiculously oversized hat joining Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Stevie Wonder and Album of the Year-winning “robots” Daft Punk for a bring down the house version of “Get Lucky”. The funktastic medley included snippets of disco classics “Le Freak” and “Another Star”, and had everyone in the star-studded crowd dancing. Forget best dressed – Who was your #1 celeb dancer? (Yoko Ono did it for me!)

– Gilles LeBlanc AKA @ROCKthusiast


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